Poker’s Lessons on Affiliate Marketing

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In a recent conversation with Toddieg (owner of Random Gifts Online and my go to guy on Affiliate Marketing advice) we stumbled upon a interesting discovery. The critical lessons of Poker, all apply to Affiliate Marketing as well. Now, maybe we’re a bit too fond of gambling, and maybe we’re over simplifying things a bit, but read through our list of rules and see if you don’t agree.

Rounders - the best affiliate marketing movie out there

  • You’ve got to pay to play– Just like in poker, you have to spend money to make money in affiliate marketing. Now, sure you can play in the cheaper games and work your way up to the hundred dollar tables, but you’ve got to spend a bit of money to get into the game.
  • Sometimes you have to pay for information – You can learn plenty from forums, friends, and books, but the best information is taken from experience. You’ll have to put in some hours at the table and you’ll likely lose a some big pots, but hopefully you’ll learn valuable lessons from those losses.
  • Don’t let money (greed) affect your logic – The lure of a big payoff can blind you. You get caught up in the excitement and often times make mistakes, misread your hand (the situation), and miss out on other chances while trying to figure out what went wrong when your big payday doesn’t come through.
  • “Hot Chicks” (thanks for that one Todd) can be deceiving– Similar to the previous point, the most alluring offers or opportunities are not always the best. Just as the girl across the table from you who pretends not to know how to play the game can end up taking your pride along with your wallet, affiliate offers that seem too good to be true can end up costing you (whether its in the form of time, money, or both).
  • People cheat – This is unfortunately true. People will always try to find a way to work the system and if that means they have to cheat, they’ll do that too. However, just because you see a person getting away with it, doesn’t mean you should try it too.
  • Only play with what you can afford to lose – Just like in poker there is a chance your great marketing idea will end up costing you money. Thats fine. Thats the price of playing the game and it offers you a chance to learn. However, don’t risk money you cant afford to lose. Also, many affiliate companies only pay once a month or after you reach a certain threshold in your account. So, if you are paying for advertising, clicks, whatever using a credit card, make sure you can afford to make the payment if your check doesnt get to you on time.
  • Play to win over the long haul – While you might have some bad luck from time to time, if you keep an eye on the bigger picture you’ll win more than you lose. Just because you won’t make $1000.00 a day on a product or offer, doesn’t mean its not worth your time. Finding 100 products and offers that make you $10.00 a day has the same affect over the long haul.
  • Study your opponents – They might not be sitting across a green felt table from you but in any market there is always competition. Find it, and study it. Figure out what they are doing, how they’re doing it, and who their doing it for. By studying your competition you can often find better paying offers, better converting products, or even a better method of marketing! Even if you don’t adopt your competition’s methods, its always good to know what their up to.
  • Keep track of your wins and losses – Any poker player will tell you that you’ve always got room to improve your game. Whether you’ve got gaping holes to patch, or minor tweaks to make, you can always learn something by analyzing your performance. Keep track of where your money goes and what kind of return your investments bring you and adjust your spending accordingly.
  • Learn to play more than one game – Most professional poker players play several different versions of the game they love. Whether it’s Texas Hold’em, Ohmaha, 7 card stud, or Blind Man’s Bluff, most pro’s can play at a very high level. You knever know when soft money will sit down at a different table playing a different game. If you’re going to take advantage of that opportunity you’ve got to be able to play that different game. In affiliate marketing there are several different methods you can use to make money and new opportunities are springing up all the time. The more methods you can use, the more opportunities you’ll be able to take advantage of.

Like I said, maybe I’ve watched Rounders one too many times lately but I think Mike McD would have made one hell of an affiliate…

Have feedback? Think we missed some? Feel free to comment and let us know!

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